Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's the shit.

I hardly know where to begin, so I guess I'll start with poop. Hudson, this is going to be a common family topic of conversation, so get used to it.

I don't know if this is a superpower that some new parents just magically manifest, or if I am naturally a certain sort of desensitized to gross or icky things beyond what I thought I was, but since you've showed up, I've had no problem whatsoever with the kind of terrifying bodily stuff that has happened. Without going into too many details, I can safely say that my first shower after giving birth to you was not unlike a slasher flick; I practically had to keep alternating between giggling uncomfortably and pretending that I was being attacked by a psycho with a giant knife. Did it actually bother me? Nope. That's a thing that happens. No big deal. I know I've got a fair number of stitches in a place where I really didn't ever want to think about having stitches, but whatever. You needed that to happen, so I haven't batted an eye.

On your end, it's been a little tougher. The first time I tried to see you after you popped out, a few NICU doctors or specialists or something were hooking up your IV, and apparently having a tough time of it. I couldn't see anything but the suggestion of you in a sea of blue sterile blankets, so we had to wait and come back half an hour later. At first, you had an IV in your head, one through your belly button, a ton of small sticks where they tried to place IVs in both of your hands and feet, something in one of your heels, and you were covered - COVERED - with tiny sensors that measured your heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation. This sounds awful. It looked awful. Frankly, it WAS awful, but I didn't really care. I knew you were being kept as comfortable as possible, and everything that was being done was necessary. Your Dad has been similarly collected about all the medical junk, to a point where he has actually been there and keeping you company during a number of procedures while I was off being poked or prodded for some reason on my own. The only time I have seen cracks in his genuine cool has been around poop.

Hudson, I am positively thrilled that you have still been pooping and peeing close to as much as any baby does. Not only does that mean that you have good, oxygenated blood flow getting everywhere it needs to, but it means you're getting the nutrition and hydration you need. I've only been able to help change your diaper twice, but - while I'm sure I'll be more than sick of dealing with diapers sooner rather than later - that has actually been a huge treat. It's such a normal thing. I haven't even been able to hold you except for immediately after you were born, and then I was a little shell-shocked; I know it happened, but I can't really pull up a concrete memory of anything except kissing the top of your head and thinking "wow, he is just COVERED in gunk." I don't remember the weight of you, and there were enough other people hovering around that I didn't really need to worry about you wriggling off or away. Your Dad got to carry you back from the NICU folks who checked you over right after birth to see me, so he's at least held you a little more than me, but he is not so excited about poop. In fact, he's stood by and stoically held your hands or feet or cupped the top of your head while doctors or nurses have done all sorts of things to you, but during diaper changes? Not so much.

Why is this so damn funny to me? I know this is a legitimate aversion that he will really need to work on, but watching him grunt "Oh GOD..." and turn away from poop, but not anything else? It's weirdly comforting. What a totally normal, non-medical thing to be uncomfortable with. I know that the next few days are likely to get rougher, what with your surgery tomorrow morning and the inevitable pile of scary machines, tubes, and substantially more invasive things going on, but even these first few days have shown how much better we can both feel as lines come out, color gets better, and dire situations get calmer. Plus, you're pooping! That shouldn't stop, so you should just keep being more and more like a healthy, normal baby.

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